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Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian vs Mikhail Tal
Curacao Candidates (1962), Willemstad CUW, rd 15, Jun-01
English Opening: Anglo-Indian Defense. Queen's Knight Variation (A16)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian vs Mikhail Tal (1962)

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-07-09  ILikeFruits: smoking...
harms the...
enviorment and...
mama earth...
save the...
and polar...
Premium Chessgames Member
  James Demery: ILikeFruits...
I notice...
your posts...
are always...
this way...
is it...
because of...
your bong...
Premium Chessgames Member
  carpetshark: Tal was suffering from a serious illness and was operated on during this tournament, which must have affected his performance (maybe not in this game).
May-17-10  Eric Farley: Now he's smoking in hell! It's amazing how people don't even up the odds!
May-17-10  Petrosianic: <Tal is *smoking*.>

Tal was always smoking. His wife said in one interview that he didn't even need a lighter, he'd just use the end of the old cigarette to light a new one.

May-17-10  mrbasso: I just noticed, the game notation is wrong, not only here but in all sources. Look at the picture. You can see the black Pawn already on h6, a black King on c6, the white King on c4 and the Knight on d5. So 45.Nd5 Kc6 46.Nc3 really happened in this game.
May-17-10  Marmot PFL: <as far as I know, smoking is "allowed" in well over 99% of public areas.>

Not any more, at least not in the USA. Many states have banned it even in bars and nightclubs.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <mrbasso> Not necessarily; the picture could be from a post-mortem. Note the official-looking guy who looks like he's collecting scoresheets.
May-17-10  mrbasso: <phony> I guess you're right. Tal looks pretty relaxed in the picture.
May-17-10  Petrosianic: <Amulet: I remember reading something like, "If the Soviet Union will declare war against vodka, he said he will play for the vodka team.">

The way it happened was a little funnier. The Soviet Union was organizing one of their periodic anti-alcoholism campaigns. The name of the campaign was "State vs. Vodka". To this, Tal quipped "I'll play on the Vodka Team."

Dec-13-12  Cadoy: Tal can't win this endgame?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sastre: White has a fairly straightforward draw in the final position. 50... g3 (50...Kc5 51.Kf4 Kd4 52.Kxg4 Kxc3 53.Kf5) 51.Kf3 Bf2 (51...Bd4 52.Ne4; 51...Kd7 52.Ne4 Ke6 53.Ng5+) 52.Ne4 Be1 (52...Kd5 53.Ng5) 53.Ng5=.
Apr-26-13  unluckythirtyfive: Ughaibu, I have kidney disease, and it is recommended for me to not smoke. Smoking raises blood pressure, which hastens kidney disease. Tal could have lived a couple more decades had he never picked them up.
Apr-27-13  ughaibu: Interesting. My GFR is around 60, but my doctors never suggested that should encourage me to stop smoking. Anyway, how long Tal would've lived had he been a non-smoker, is a matter of conjecture, those who live the longest aren't the type who take conspicuous precautions.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Beancounter: Tal gave a simul in my club once (1974 I believe). He had a man following him around whose sole duty it appeared was to light Tal's cigarettes. He was a chain smoker even then.
May-02-13  Petrosianic: It seems unlikely. Tal's wife says that he lit his own cigarettes without needing a lighter by pressing the lit end of the old cigarette to a new one.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Beancounter: That's the story I've been told by more than one person who was there on the night. I have no reason to disbelieve them.
May-02-13  Petrosianic: Okay, well it could well be true. Maybe by 1974, Tal had graduated to having a designated human cigarette lighter. He was a chain smoker from very early in his career.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: When we met in 1988, Tal lit his own and kept a bottle of vodka near to hand the whole time.
May-02-13  Petrosianic: I think Tal knew very early in life that he wasn't going to live long, and saw no point in taking care of himself.

Remember his quip about the anti-drinking "State vs. Vodka" campaign? "I'll play on the Vodka team."

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: At this link (http://boylston-chess-club.blogspot...), the last but one photo, of Tal in conversation with two young players, was taken the night before we met.

While I was well aware Tal was 51, if I had not known better, I would have sworn he was well into his sixties.

May-02-13  RookFile: Seemed like Tal was in trouble in this game and did well to get a draw out of this.
Jul-03-13  6 law: Petrosian was lucky that Tal played it to a draw.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Tal was normally accompanied by his personal cigarette-lighter, a man carrying a low-pressure flame-thrower. He also always had with him his vodka-pourer and another guy who was there for "positive reinforcement".
Premium Chessgames Member
  zydeco: Tal in his memoir seems very upset that he couldn't convert his endgame advantage -- although it's hard to see any clearly winning way to play. He writes that Petrosian's wife was beside herself with worry once Tal won the pawn.
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